Lutgarda Mariano

Choosing Homecare

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Lutgarda Mariano’s passion is to help people better their lives through the power of choice! Providing better care for seniors is important to Lutgarda because she’s watched family members and friends struggle with aging and obtaining quality care. As owner and director of Home Care Assistance Victoria, she’s now able to provide better care for seniors and people requiring assistance because of long-lasting relationships she’s built within the healthcare community in Victoria as a result of her prior career directing a school that trained care aides!

One of the most difficult decisions adult children make when caring for aging parents is where to turn for in-home care.  The myriad of choices can be overwhelming.  Essentially, there are three choices: private hire, Domestic Referral Agencies and full service companies.

Farmers markets Blog, Restaurants, Crafts, Hobbies, Recipes, Pets, Shop on-line. Women's Fashions, Woman to Woman blog.  Island Woman magazine, inspiring the women of Vancouver Island, BC.With a PRIVATE HIRE CAREGIVER, the family or older adult becomes responsible for all steps of the hiring process.  They must advertise, interview, and conduct background checks.  Once a caregiver is selected, the older adult or family member must negotiate schedule, salary and benefits.  A written contract, signed by both parties, clearly outlining all of the duties and expectations, is imperative.  Liability normally falls on the client’s lap when it comes to payroll taxes, employment taxes and workers’ compensation cost.  It is imperative to get a rider on your homeowners’ insurance policy to protect your assets if anything should happen to the private hire in your home.  Even though a private hire may be cost effective, the safety risk is the greatest especially when the older adult lives alone without supportive family available or there is impaired judgment on the part of the older adult.   The risk is greatly reduced when a family member is able to supervise the caregiver.  Professional geriatric care managers are also excellent supervisors when family is not available.


DOMESTIC REFERRAL AGENCIES are essentially registries.  A client calls for service and a caregiver is placed in a home for a placement fee and sometimes an ongoing management fee. The referral agencies do not employ the caregiver.  The client becomes the employer, and similar to a private hire is responsible for payroll taxes, social security, and unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation.  Some referral agencies have trust accounts where the client pays the agency and the agency then pays the caregiver, and sometimes sets up a tax service for the client, but the client is still considered the employer. Since referral agencies are not employers, they do not supervise the caregiver. This increases the safety risk.  Like a private hire, it is important that a family members or geriatric care manager supervise and oversee the care.


FULL SERVICE AGENCIES employ the caregivers.  They hire, screen, train and supervise the employees and place them in the older adult’s home.  As the employer, the full service agency is responsible for all payroll taxes, social security, worker compensation, and unemployment insurance.  A good full service agency should be able to produce a copy of their liability insurance and carry some sort of bond.  Supervision is done by the agency, with some agencies providing care managers who directly oversee client cases, thereby lowering the risk to the consumer.  The cost of a full service agency is normally higher than a private duty hire or a domestic referral agency due to these factors, however the risk is essentially lower.

When choosing homecare for yourself or an older adult, remember to take into consideration the risk level of the older adult and the familial involvement.    Educate yourself on what service is best for your situation and then interview several potential individuals or agencies.  Finally, think ahead, don’t wait for a crisis to begin searching for the best care for you or your loved one.

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Home Care Assistance,
1396 Hillside Avenue,
Victoria, B.C.
250-592-4881.  24 hour mobile # 250-217-8310 

Seniors home care, care facilities,RV parks B &B, Churches, Brew pubs, craft breweries, vineyards, distilleries, Pets BC. Seniors 101, Island Voices promoting the products and services available for seniors on Vancouver Island.






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